Renewables

2019 promises to be an exciting year for clean tech. An increasing number of countries, companies and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving. Here are 6 renewable energy trends to watch in the coming year: Energy Storage; Microgrids and AI; Energy Blockchain and the Internet of Things; Grid Parity And Falling Costs; Big Commitments; Energy Access Advances In Developing Countries.

Forbes 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Renewables – solar

The 7.2MW Vale Matanças solar farm in Portugal has entered full operation. Located in Alcácer do Sal, the Foresight Group’s new facility is the firm’s first investment in a Portuguese utility-scale solar asset which did not benefit from government subsidy. A decade-long power purchase agreement (PPA) has been signed with a Spanish utility company and will deliver 12GWh of clean electricity every year over its 30-year operational life. The site is the second of the company’s unsubsidised solar farms to start generating clean electricity, the first being the 3.9MW Torre de Cotillas plant in Spain. Clean energy firm Anesco officially opened the first subsidy-free solar farm in the UK last year.

Energy Live News 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Fossil Fuels

Global coal generation is plunging into a ‘death spiral’. That’s the verdict from environmental think-tank Carbon Tracker, which has published a new report suggesting 42% of the world’s operating coal fleets are already unprofitable due to high fuel costs. It expects a combination of renewable energy costs, air pollution regulation and carbon pricing to mean this figure will rise to 72% by 2040. The statistics cover around 95% (1,900GW) of global operating capacity and 90% (220GW) of capacity being built – the predictions assume fuel costs will fall by more than a tenth after 2018 and only include existing climate and air pollution policies, meaning they are likely to prove conservative estimates.

Energy Live News 28th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Hinkley

EDF Energy announced on 11 December 2018 the completion of the first part of the concrete pouring for the base slab for unit 1 of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant. Four more pours of concrete will be required before the so-called “raft” that supports the reactor building will be complete, work is expected to be concluded in 2019. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) definition, the official “construction start”, is “the date when first major placing of concrete for the base mat of the reactor building is made”. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) bases its nuclear construction statistics also on this definition. A senior representative of EDF Energy’s partner China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN), that contributes a third to the HPC investment, on 14 December 2018, told WNISR that they consider construction started on 4 December 2018 with the First Concrete Day (FCD) of the nuclear island raft foundation. WNISR will also use this date as the HPC construction start. In earlier correspondence with WNISR, as reported in WNISR2018, EDF-Energy has stated that this does not mean for EDF that the reactor is ‘under-construction’, but rather, “in the HPC project, [construction start] is termed ‘J0’ and is scheduled to be reached in June 2019.” This is despite the fact that billions have already been spent with more than 3,200 people working on the project. It remains unclear, why EDF Energy is deviating in the case of HPC from the internationally applied IAEA definition for construction start. Of course, the closer the “construction start” to grid connection, the shorter the communicated “construction time”, a crucial indicator for the industry’s performance. However, delaying the announcement of the construction start cannot cover up the fact that HPC has been plagued by serious delays from the beginning of its implementation.

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 29th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Nuclear & Climate

Relicensing old nuclear power plants and building new nukes will not resolve any climate change issues. View our well-researched film, Smokescreen, created with data from university analyses and independent international economic reports. Also, check out Arnie’s speech at McGill University where he discusses how building new nuclear power plants will actually exacerbate climate change as well as his Truthout article

Fairwinds 29th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Energy Policy

We started 2018 wondering what impact 2017 would have, and what we accomplished. As always, it took a few months, and when it finally arrived the news was mixed — as it normally is. The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced in March that global energy demand increased by 2.1% in 2017, more than twice the previous year’s rate. Similarly, carbon emissions increased for the first time since 2014, jumping by 1.4%. At the same time, however, global renewable energy generation capacity increased by 167 gigawatts (GW) in 2017, pushing the planet’s cumulative renewable energy capacity to 2,179 GW, according to numbers published in April by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Clean Tech 28th Dec 2018 read more »

The fug of pessimism too easily distracts us from the eminently solvable nature of many of the challenges Britain faces. All it would take is political leadership, courage and ambition. Here are five ideas within the grasp of any government determined to make Britain a kinder, greener, more equitable place to live in the 2020s. Climate change poses an increasingly existential threat to mankind and the time available to stave off catastrophic levels of warming is running out. The government must do more to advocate for global net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and set out a plan for the UK to produce net-zero carbon emissions before 2050, including bringing forwards the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030.

Observer 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Proliferation

I agree with academic researcher Sue Rabbitt Roff that researchers into the UK’s nuclear history should be alarmed that the publicly-funded Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has ordered certain sensitive documents to be withheld from the regular release of official s documents that always takes place in the final week of the year from the National Archives. The Soviet Union/Russia has participated successively in the SALT, START and INF nuclear disarmament negotiations. Meantime, the UK has not taken part in any multilateral or bilateral nuclear reduction or disarmament talks. Future researchers may wish to find out from the atomic Archives why not. Will they be able to do so?

David Lowry’s Blog 29th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Submarines

The UK government secretly planned to dump the radioactive hulks of 22 nuclear submarines in the sea off north west Scotland, documents released by the National Archives reveal. A survey for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1989 identified six sites for “seabed storage” of defunct naval submarines near the islands of Skye, Mull and Barra for up to 60 years – and probably longer. Detailed and highly confidential MoD studies concluded the plan was “feasible” and would “obviate the international problems which we would face were we to dispose of these vessels in international waters.” The 1989 sea-dumping plan ended up being quietly dropped. But the MoD has still not solved the problem of what to do with the accumulating number of nuclear submarines that have now been taken out of service. Since the 1980s seven defunct submarines have been laid up at the Rosyth naval dockyard in Fife. Since the 1990s, thirteen have been laid up at Devonport naval dockyard in Plymouth, nine of them still containing radioactive fuel. There are a further eight nuclear submarines in service, one in overhaul and nine due to come into service at Faslane on the Clyde, including the proposed new generation of four Trident-armed submarines. That’s a total of 38 nuclear submarines that will eventually require disposal.

The Ferret 30th Dec 2018 read more »

The National 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Netherlands

The draft of the Climate Agreement is ready. This means that there is an extensive coherent package with which the Netherlands can reduce CO 2 emissions by at least 49 percent by 2030. The PBL Netherlands Bureau for Applied Statistics (PBL) will be reviewing the agreements in the coming months.

Climate Accord 21st Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018

Belgium

Pierre-Franck Chevet will not finally join the group led by Isabelle Kocher. This draft appointment caused a stir. Pierre-Franck Chevet, who until the autumn presided over the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), was expected to join Engie. It had to take charge of the safety of the plants that the group operates in Belgium. His arrival seemed acquired. He was to report to Pierre Mongin, deputy general manager in charge of the Benelux business unit (BU) and on the front line on this sensitive issue: currently, only three of Engie’s seven nuclear power plants are in working order. A control of the installations showed the necessity to strengthen the concretes. But Pierre-Franck Chevet will not finally join the group led by Isabelle Kocher.

Le Figaro 28th Des 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 December 2018